May 21, 2024 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Landrus, Waller help SJO baseball get off to strong start

Playing a competitive schedule is nothing new for the St. Joseph-Ogden baseball team.
Neither is racking up win after win after win.
The Spartans carried an 11-2 record into April, with the Spartans set to open the month with an Illini Prairie Conference home game against Bloomington Central Catholic at 4:30 p.m. at Meier Field.
Here’s a brief roundup of how the first three weeks of the season have fared for SJO and a look ahead:

March 13
St. Joseph-Ogden 3, Columbia 2

The season opener for the Spartans happened at Tom Pile Field in Edwardsville as part of the Metro East Kick Off Classic.
SJO trailed 2-0 in the bottom of the second before scoring two runs to tie the game at 2 and then taking the lead for good with a run in the bottom of the fifth.
Bryson Houchens recorded the win in relief, throwing 3 2/3 shutout innings and only allowing one hit. He walked two and struck out six. Nolan Earley started and went 3 1/3 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits. He walked two and struck out five.
Houchens and Logan Rosenthal each doubled for SJO, with Earley and Houchens both driving in runs.

March 14
St. Joseph-Ogden 10, Breese Central 1

The Spartans’ second game in the Metro East Kick Off Classic saw SJO take a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning and never look back.
Luke Landrus shined on the mound, starting and going four shutout innings. He gave up two hits and one walk while striking out four. Parker Fitch was effective in three innings of relief, allowing one run on two hits. He walked two and struck out three.
The Spartans collected 11 hits, with Jared Altenbaumer and Braxton Waller both doubling. Waller finished 2 for 3 with two RBI, while Kodey McKinney was 2 for 3 with three RBI out of the No. 9 spot in the lineup. Altenbaumer drove in three runs, while Logan Rosenthal was also key, going 2 for 2 with two runs scored and one RBI.

March 15
Oswego 7, St. Joseph-Ogden 5

The Spartans sustained their first loss of the season in their final game at the Metro East Kick Off Classic. SJO led 1-0 after the top of the first inning, but never led again after Oswego took a 2-1 lead by the end of the first inning and increased it to 4-2 by the third inning. SJ-O got it as close to 4-3 before Oswego tacked on three runs in the bottom of the third to build a 7-3 lead.
Jared Altenbaumer started and went one inning for SJO, giving up three runs (two earned) on one hit. He walked four and struck out one. Asher Pruemer pitched four innings in relief, giving up four runs (all unearned) on three hits. He walked one and struck out two. Trevor Ames also threw an inning of shutout relief, walking one and striking out one.
Jared Altenbaumer and Braxton Waller paced the offense, with Altenbaumer going 3 for 3 with a double and one RBI. Waller was 3 for 4 with a double and two RBI. Tanner Jacob added a double for the Spartans, while Luke Landrus was 2 for 3.

March 19
St. Joseph-Ogden 18, Tuscola 2

The Spartans played their home opener at Meier Field and left with a resounding nonconference win, scoring all 18 of their run-in the bottom of the third inning.
Nolan Earley led the offense, going 2 for 3 with a double, two runs scored and four RBI. Tanner Jacob drove in three runs, with Luke Landrus, Will Haley and Kodak McKinney adding two RBI apiece.
Trevor Ames started and went three shutout innings, giving up five hits. He walked one and struck out three.

March 20
St. Joseph-Ogden 10, Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin 0

Luke Landrus, Nolan Earley and Jared Altenbaumer sparked the five-inning home nonconference win for the Spartans at Meier Field.
Earley started on the mound and threw a five-inning shutout, only yielding three hits as SJO led 4-0 after the first inning. He walked two and struck out seven. At the plate, Earley helped himself out by going 3 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Landrus delivered in the batter’s box, too, going 2 for 3 with a home run, three RBI and three runs scored. Altenbaumer was a perfect 4 for 4 with three RBI, while Kodak McKinney went 2 for 2.

March 21
St. Joseph-Ogden 12, St. Thomas More 0

The Spartans scored at least two runs in every inning, cruising to a five-inning win at Meier Field in the Illini Prairie Conference opener for SJO.
The Spartans led 4-0 at the end of the first inning and doubled its advantage to 8-0 after two innings before plating two runs apiece in both the bottom of the third and bottom of the third.
Bryson Houchens didn’t need that much run support, dominating with a five-inning shutout. He only yielded one hit, did not walk a batter and struck out 10.
Will Haley went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI to pace the Spartans’ offense, while Braxton Waller was 2 for 3 with two RBI and two runs scored. Kodey McKinney added a double and was 1 for 2 with an RBI, while Luke Landrus was 1 for 3 with two RBI and two runs scored and Jared Altenbaumer contributed, too, by driving in two runs.

March 23
St. Joseph-Ogden 2, New Berlin 0

Luke Landrus and Asher Pruemer kept New Berlin’s hitters off balance during a nonconference win in Monticello. Landrus started and went five innings, only giving up one hit. He walked two and struck out seven. Pruemer notched the save, throwing two shutout innings of relief. He did not give up a hit or a walk and struck out one.
SJO scored its first run in the bottom of the first inning and added its second run in the bottom of the third to account for all the offense against the Pretzels.
Braxton Waller was 2 for 3 with a triple and an RBI and Nolan Earley was 1 for 2 with an RBI to spark the Spartans’ bats. Tanner Jacob went 2 for 3 out of the leadoff spot to contribute as well.

March 23
St. Joseph-Ogden 3, Jacksonville Routt 1

Jared Altenbaumer and Trevor Ames combined on another superb pitching performance by the Spartans, with SJO collecting its second win on this day in Monticello.
The Spartans tallied all three of their runs in the bottom of the third inning. That was all Altenbaumer and Ames needed. Altenbaumer started and did not give up a hit in four innings to go along with four walks and four strikeouts. Ames gave up two hits and one run, but did not issue a walk and struck out two.
The Spartans rattled off nine hits, with Altenbaumer going 2 for 2 with an RBI and Tanner Jacob going 2 for 3 with a run scored. Luke Landrus and Bryson Houchens each drove in a run.

March 25
St. Joseph-Ogden 15, Salt Fork 0

The Spartans wasted little time asserting itself against Salt Fork, grabbing a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning and then ending the game in four innings by plating nine runs in the top of the fourth.
Nolan Earley thrived in the batter’s box for SJO, going 2 for 3 with two home runs and four RBI, while Luke Landrus also hit a home run and finished 3 for 4 with three RBI and three runs. Landrus also doubled.
Kodey McKinney (2 for 3, three RBI), Braxton Waller (2 for 3, two RBI, double) and Tanner Jacob (2 for 4, two runs scored) also contributed significantly for the Spartans.
The latest nonconference road win saw Asher Pruemer start and go three innings, only giving up two hits. He walked one and struck out five.

March 27
St. Joseph-Ogden 18, Centennial 2

SJO led 14-0 after two innings and didn’t let Centennial into the game at all, with the Spartans heading home from Champaign with a four-inning nonconference road win.
Kodey McKinney went 2 for 2 with a double and four RBI and Jared Altenbaumer went 2 for 2 with an RBI and three runs scored to spearhead the 14-hit attack the Spartans compiled. Braxton Waller was also effective, going 3 for 4 with four RBI, while Luke Landrus and Logan Rosenthal each went 2 for 3 with two RBI and a double apiece. Landrus scored three runs and stole two bases.
Bryson Houchens started and went two innings, giving up one hit and striking out four. Garrett Denhart threw one inning of relief, giving up two unearned runs on two hits.

March 28
St. Joseph-Ogden 3, Mahomet-Seymour 1

SJO trailed for the majority of the nonconference game in Mahomet before scrapping together three runs in the top of the seventh inning and then holding on for its eighth straight win.
Jared Altenbaumer went 1 for 3 with an RBI and Kodey McKinney also drove in a run for SJO, with Tanner Jacob going 1 for 4 with a double.
Nolan Earley started and went five innings for the Spartans, scattering six hits and giving up one run. He walked three and struck out three. Trevor Ames picked up the win in relief with one shutout inning, while Altenbaumer garnered the save with a shutout inning in the bottom of the seventh.

March 30
St. Joseph-Ogden 2, Teutopolis 0

The pitching performance from Luke Landrus and Jared Altenbaumer lifted the Spartans to a win in their first game of a home nonconference doubleheader against the Wooden Shoes at Meier Field.
Landrus started and lasted five innings, giving up only one hit. He overcame four walks and struck out nine. Altenbaumer recorded the save with two shutout innings of relief, allowing one hit. He walked one and struck out four.
The Spartans took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and added its last run of the game in the bottom of the sixth. Braxton Waller went 2 for 3 with an RBI, while Nolan Earley drove in the other run for SJO. Landrus was superb at the plate, too, going 3 for 3 with a single, a double and a triple. Will Haley (1 for 2, stolen base) and Tanner Jacob (1 for 3, run scored) also chipped in.

March 30
Teutopolis 15, St. Joseph-Ogden 8

SJO led 5-1 after two innings but couldn’t hold on to the lead, ending its nine-game win streak during the second game of a doubleheader against the Wooden Shoes at Meier Field in St. Joseph.
The Spartans used four pitchers, but all four had a hard time slowing down Teutopolis. Asher Pruemer started and went 3 1/3 innings, giving up eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits. He walked one and struck out two. Bryson Houchens relieved Pruemer and only went two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs on six hits. Logan Rosenthal threw two innings, giving up three runs (only one earned) on three hits. Tanner Jacob also threw an inning, giving up an unearned run on two hits.
Jacob finished 2 for 4 with a triple and three RBI, while Logan Rosenthal was 1 for 3 with a triple and an RBI. Nolan Earley (2 for 4 with a double, RBI), Houchens (2 for 4, two runs scored), Luke Landrus (1 for 3, RBI) and Braxton Waller (1 for 4, RBI) also chipped in.

What’s next
After Monday’s game with Bloomington Central Catholic, the Spartans are set to play Pleasant Plains at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Millikin University in Decatur before playing at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Rantoul in another Illini Prairie Conference game.

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